8/01/2015 – El Pais
Spain’s richest and world’s fourth wealthiest Amancio Ortega has purchased the headquarters of multinational mining and metal group Rio Tinto located in the heart of London, reports Property Week. The founder of Inditex is said to have paid around £265 million, or €335 million.
The building, found at 6 St James’s Square, has a gross lettable area (GLA) of nearly 11.000 square meters. The transaction was nailed short before Christmas with a profit below 4%, the newspaper informs. Specifically, the buyer was Pontegadea, the real estate investment arm of Mr Ortega.
Rio Tinto redeveloped the building and named Cushman & Wakefield to market its headquarters in the West End inside a buy-to-lease scheme. The mining company is going to rent 70% of the property’s total space, 79.000 square feet (7.340 square meters), while the remaining 38.000 sq ft (3.530 sq m) will be left out vacant.
The purchase of the Rio Tinto headquarters is the second largest carried out by Amancio Ortega in London. Back in December 2013, the magnate bought the Devonshire House office building, one of the listed properties in the West End of London, for £400 million (over €500 million). Constructed in 1920, the office unit has 16.000 square meters and is situated within the fashionable district of Mayfair, a minute’s walk from the Ritz hotel. The property was the residence of the Dukes of Devonshire in the 18th and 19th centuries. Mr Ortega paid an astonishing price per square meter and one of the highest ever offered for such a type of historic building.
In 2006, the Spanish tycoon acquired the building at 100 Wood Street, also in London, for £140 million, and in 2011 he purchased an office unit in Oxford Street for £220 million.
Moreover, Ortega’s Inditex, worldwide known textile leader promoting such brands as Zara or Massimo Dutti, was the buyer of the property in the intersection of Oxford and New Bond streets, an area considered a high street of London’s center. In 2012, the firm paid £155 million for it.
Original story: El País (by Miguel Jiménez)
Translation: AURA REE